Wired’s list of The Top 10 Gadgets That Changed The World is a walk down memory lane.
It’s a walk without an Apple product in sight, not even the original Apple or Mac show up on the list. Why?
What are the devices that have most influenced human kind through the centuries? What would be on your list?
Wired’s Christopher Null writes about the wheel. The plow. The gun. The electric light. Even the radio and the chip (no fire or printing press—both should be on any list).
What about modern life? Suffice it to say, there’s not a single Apple on the list of the Top 10 Most Life-altering Devices of the Modern Era.
Coming in at #10 is the Motorola StarTac cell phone, circa a decade ago.
Based on the number of cell phones sold each year (now numbering about a billion), I’d say the “cell phone” ranks as a Top 10, but not necessarily the Motorola device.
Instead of the Apple I or II which inspired the personal computer revolution, Null chose the IBM 5151 from 1981 as the #9 entry. Sorry. That’s a mistake.
Sony made the list at #8 with, you guessed it, the Sony Walkman from 1979. Apple needs to sell a lot more iPods to match the market penetration of the Walkman brand.
Games? How about video games? Pong? Donkey Kong?
No, it’s the Atari 2600 video computer system from 1977 which weighs in at #7 on the list.
It’s hard to believe, but VCRs are from the early 1970s, first Sony’s Betamax, then the JVC HR-3300, which takes the honors of #6. Why not the Sony? Because they lost the VCR wars?
A gadget of sorts (seems too big to be a gadget) is the microwave oven which, at #5 on the list, reflects a place in nearly every American home. We are talking about gadgets in America, right?
The strangest and most out of place entry on the list is at #4—the Bell and Howell Director Series model 414 8-mm movie camera from 1962.
Seriously? One can argue that every other gadget on the list belongs there—except this one. And it ranks just one notch above the Top 3.
At #3 is the Kodak Brownie 127 camera from 1953. My grandmother had one of those. Actually, she still has it and it still works, but you can’t buy film anymore. So, I guess it works.
#1 and #2 on the Wired list should be reversed. Coming in at second is the Western Electric 500 desk telephone from 1949.
What’s the Top Gadget That Changed The World in modern times? The only thing left is the television, and Wired chose the RCA 630TS from 1946.
Where’s the radio? Where’s the Apple II? Where’s email (that’s a gadget, right?)?
No matter how you slice and dice it, it’s an interesting, albeit argumentative list of so-called modern gadgets. What’s missing?
I’m sure you’ll agree with me regarding the Bell and Howell movie camera. That’s a dud. The others are rather representative of the modern era.
That’s Wired’s list. What would you place on the list and what would you remove? Share your modern era thought with other readers via the Comments section below.